2008 TRANSSYBERIA RALLY FINISHES LEG ...
2008 TRANSSYBERIA RALLY FINISHES LEG #11, DARVI - ALTAI IN MONGOLIA;
AMERICANS MILLEN AND GODBY BREAK SUSPENSION AND FALL BACK TO 12TH OVERALL
ATLANTA - Armin Schwarz and Andi Schulz of Team Germany 1 were the fastest of the Transsyberia Rally 2008 powered by Sony Ericsson for the fourth time on leg four. In their Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia the pair increased the gap to their nearest competitors in the overall standings and moved up from third into second. Lars Kern and Daniel van Kan of Team Germany 3 secured second on the 208 kilometre special stage between Darvi and Altai with a gap of around four minutes. Christian Lavieille and Francois Borsotto of Team France finished about 17 minutes behind Schwarz/Schulz, but still lead the rally with an almost two hour advantage.
Team France drove another perfect leg.
"We experienced no major problems with the vehicle. Luckily! Because tomorrow is the longest special stage of the entire Transsyberia Rally. Everything has to be perfect for this. That's why we didn't want to risk too much. We're happy to have reached the finish without any damages. That makes up optimistic for tomorrow," Christian Lavieille analyzed.
"For this stage, which was partly very tough, our car is in excellent condition. Today's leg was not especially difficult but it was technically very demanding. Again I was amazed at what the Cayenne can withstand," added co-pilot Francois Borsotto.
For Americans Ryan Millen and Colin Godby, a day where they could have moved up to as high as third overall became a disaster.
"Stage #11 started off great - our navigation was right on. In fact, we wound up helping several other teams navigate the course. The stage was very, very fast and we were really moving, said Millen, who had improved from 12th overall to seventh overall after overcoming a 30-minute penalty earlier in the event.
"We were running 4th on the stage, nose-to-tail, behind Armin (Schwartz,) Team Portugal and Lars Kern. We decided to take a route that took us around a small mountain, shortcutting the route and hopefully giving us an advantage over the top three in front of us. While in retrospect it turned out to be the right move from a strategic point of view and it did work for the teams who followed us, we, unfortunately found the one big hazard there was to find - a six foot deep dried up trench. We didn't see it until we were right on top of it and it was just too late to do anything but hope for a perfect 'Dukes of Hazard - style' jump and landing. But that's TV and this is the TransSyberia Rally. We wound landing nose-in, with our tail hung up on the opposite bank. Ouch. We were really stuck," said Millen.
The Russians, Team Inteko, came by and pulled the Team Porsche USA Cayenne S TransSyberia out with their standard Cayenne S. Once they got back on the road, Millen took a few minutes to survey the damage - a broken lower A-arm and a ruined CV joint. They managed to get the parts brought back to them and affected the repairs to get back in the rally for Wednesday's stage, but the damage has been done in more ways than one. After all the time penalties, about 10 hours worth, they are now back where they were before the 30 minute penalty for taking a rear start, in 12th place.